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Formula E

Evans stuns Vergne to secure Misano pole

Mitch Evans secured pole position for the opening race of the Misano E-Prix double-header.

Evans Valencia
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To news overview © Simon Galloway / Formula E

Mitch Evans will start the opening race of the Misano E-Prix double-header from pole position, after defeating Jean-Eric Vergne in the final duel.

The Jaguar driver entered qualifying as an outsider for pole, with Vergne having been the clear favourite after he topped both free practice one and free practice two. Evans progressed into the final after defeating Sam Bird in the quarter-final and Jake Hughes in the semi-final.

In the final, the New Zealander defeated Vergne by 0.160 secs after setting a 1:17.068. Behind Evans and Vergne on the front row, Pascal Wehrlein will start in third ahead of Hughes, whilst Nico Müller, Oliver Rowland, Bird and Maximilian Günther completed the top eight.

Group stage

The opening group featured championship leader Wehrlein as well as both DS Penske drivers, who have looked exceptional in Misano. Tokyo winner Günther and Rowland also featured.

Following the opening laps it was Vergne, Wehrlein, Günther and Robin Frijns in the all-important top four; however, there was considerable change in the final seconds.

Vergne remained as the fastest driver ahead of Wehrlein, with Rowland having ended as third quickest ahead of Günther. Vergne's Group A topping time was a 1:18.062, with the top four progressing to the duels having been split by 0.273 secs.

Group B was full of big-hitters, including reigning world champion Dennis and both factory Jaguar drivers, one of which – Nick Cassidy – had a scary crash in free practice two.

McLaren's Hughes led the group at the halfway point, with Cassidy, Abt Cupra's Müller and Evans having also provisionally been in the top four. Andretti had huge problems as both Jake Dennis and Norman Nato had their first three laps deleted and failed to make the duels.

Dennis could only manage P10 and will start from the 10th row of the grid, whilst Hughes topped the group with ease after posting a 1.17.864.

Evans was the closest driver to him, ahead of Bird and Müller in another heroic performance. Cassidy was fifth and missed out on the top four by just four-thousandths of a second.

Quarter-Finals

The opening quarter-final featured Wehrlein and Rowland, with the latter having claimed pole in two of the last three races. Unfortunately, for Nissan, the Briton was defeated, after Wehrlein set a competitive 1:17.549.

Hoping to meet Wehrlein in the semi-final were Günther and Vergne, in what was an all-Stellantis powertrain duel. Vergne continued his fine form this weekend by going over a second quicker than Günther, after posting 1.17.476. Günther was slow after launching over a sausage kerb.1.17.275

Quarter-final number three put Evans against his old Jaguar team-mate Bird. Very little separated the duo across the first two sectors; however, a lock-up by Bird at Turn 12 cost him several tenths. As a result, Evans' 1:17.275 was good enough to progress to the semi-finals.

The final quarter-final saw in-demand Müller against Hughes, who was the quickest driver in the group stage of qualifying. Müller actually set a time which would have beaten Wehrlein and Vergne, unfortunately for him, though, Hughes set a monster 1:16.977 to win the duel – this was the fastest lap in qualifying.

Semi-finals

Fighting for a place in the final first was Wehrlein and Vergne, in a battle between two ex-F1 drivers. Vergne once again demonstrated how comfortable he is at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, after setting a strong 1:17.085, to defeat Wehrlein by just 0.058 secs.

Hoping to meet the double Formula E champion in the first final of the weekend were Evans and Hughes. Hughes' opening two sectors were incredible, to the extent that he entered the final sector three-tenths ahead of Evans.

However, the McLaren driver became the second victim of the sausage kerb on entry to Turn 12, losing him five-tenths of a second. It cost him a spot in the final, and saw Evans progress on a 1:17.170.

Final

The fight for pole and three world championship points then was between Vergne and Evans, with the DS Penske driver being the clear favourite.

Vergne was narrowly slower in the first sector but made up time in the second, meaning it all came down to the last sector. To the surprise of many, it was Evans who held on to claim his first pole of 2024, after posting a 1:17.068.

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